Friday, July 18, 2008

Perfect Pitch

I have been assigned to write a description on how to make a perfect pitch for manuscripts. However, everything I create seems to be wrong. At first I applied the rules given me by Barbara Seuling at one of the SCBWI retreats where she said we need to describe our story in 25 words or less. The ENTIRE story...from beginning to end.That, I have discovered, is not a pitch. It is a wonder 30-second promo for my story - an elevator pitch.And I think that's one of the problems.

I belong to several networking groups and to me, when I wear that hat, an elevator pitch is something that sums up my business, beginning with a customer's need, progressing to a benefit I offer, then finally closing with my ... now what am I supposed to close with?

See how confusing it is? And yet it also appears to be similar (at least in my mind) to a manuscript pitch.For instance, with my printing and promotions business, I can begin my pitch with:Does your small business need quality printing at affordable prices? Business Cards Etc gives you quality printing and promotional items to help your small business succeed for less. Now I'm stuck for a closer.

And I'm at a loss on how to create a catchy pitch for my story. Things like It's a cross between Harry Potter and Elvis Presley at a shuttle launching where an alien eats the rocket fuel.


I've broken down and ordered a book - Making the Perfect Pitch by Katherine Sands. It's been recommended to my by several authors so I figured I'd get myself one. Maybe then I'll understand how to make a perfect pitch for my manuscript - and at the same time, create one for my business!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Critique Groups

I've been working with five other ladies for what seems like forever. We're friends. We're family. We're sisters. I would do anything for any one of them. Even accept their suggestions on my wonderfully terrific chapter submission that has absolutely nothing wrong with it. (Yeah, like I've ever survived a critique session without someone drawing my blood.)

Tonight was our bi-weekly meeting. Tonight was different. The chemistry has been permanently altered and I'm not sure I like it. We all will adjust, eventually. But for the moment, it is difficult to accept that one of my sisters has decided to go on a hiatus for several months...perhaps longer. She questions her ability to write. She questions her authenticity. She questions if she's wasting her time pursuing a dream of creating a wonderful novel for children.

But from my perspective she is one of the funniest, warmest, loving-est people I have ever met. She is a creatively talented writer - an incredible writer. She is a super-charged editor. She's ... what I've always aspired to be.

And now she's gone.

We were sad this evening, trying to focus on our critiques yet our thoughts were flooded with missing our friend. And for the moment our chemistry has been altered to taste bitter. It will eventually sweeten over time as someone new fills her spot. But that someone will never fill her shoes.

We love you and miss you, Bernie. Come home soon,

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Back to Normal

It's Sunday afternoon and the boys are back in town. Yahoo. Music is blasting through the house, everyone is on their computer (except Ed who's de-fatting pork so I can pull it in a little while to make BBQ). It was too quiet with the boys gone.

But we got a great deal at Movie Gallery yesterday. It was so quiet for them as well, they gave us three movies for the price of two. Ed and I had movie night and it was fun. I had been thinking we were going to watch the entire trilogy of Lord of the Rings, but it's been postponed (is this a good thing?).

My youngest, Jim, came home from being one of the camp councilors at a Christan Camp, and when he walked in the door he was elated because 23 students at the camp (6 in his group) dedicated their lives to Christ. He was beaming. That plus he had a wonderful time with all the games and activities.

Ever been to Bald Head Island? That's where Tom went for this past weekend - you need to take a ferry over to the island. Then, once there, the only modes of transportation are walking, bike riding or gold carts. Of course the kids ride the carts.

The house is full of nice noise. I think if I laiddown on my bed, I could sleep very comfortably now that everyone is safely home.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Just a Tiny Taste

Today is July 4th and the house is quiet. Jim is off as a councilor at a youth camp this week. Tom left for the beach last night. Ed is at work. The cats and dogs are napping.

This is the first time the boys won't be home for the 4th. It hit me hard last night and made me realize that being an empty-nester isn't all fun and games. Like all the food we bought for a forth of July BBQ - when there's only two of us. All the research into train tickets to head up north - only the boys are gone and can't go on the trip.

This is only the beginning of a lifetime of changes. Whew! I don't think I'm going to like it as much as I thought I would.

Distractions. I need distractions. Way too hot to go horseback riding - or even grooming. Perhaps later in the evening when it cools down a little.

Distractions. I've already worked on my novel at Bonnie's house this morning. That helped a lot. Saw a red-shoulder hawk hanging around her garden. That was way kool!

Distractions. Yikes, I could clean or do laundry but that's like admitting defeat! I just CAN'T do that! It's a day to play and have fun!!!

Yard work? Too hot. Curves? It's closed. TV? Boring. Shop? No money. Read? Sure, if I don't fall asleep.

Gosh, I'm sounding like my eldest son - "Mom, I'm bored. There's nothing to do." Guess it runs in the family. :^))

Oh well, maybe I'll create a flyer for a yard sale my Civitan group is having on the 19th. Creativity. I like it.

What did you do on your July 4th?